Mendo Lake Fire Update - 6 pm Friday

Oct 13, 2017

Mendocino Lake Complex Fire data sheet (updated 6 pm Friday)


Mendocino county officials urge residents seeking services to call 707-467-6428 for referrals and information to stay connected and informed. The number is staffed 24 hours a day and has receptionists who speak english and spanish.  The number provides shelter information, referrals for food, general fire updates and more. Again, that Emergency Operations Center number is 707-467-6428.  



Tonight we have news of major relief to Mendocino county residents displaced by the wildfires. Authorities are lifting mandatory evacuation orders for large areas of the Mendocino Lake fire zone, including Redwood Valley and Potter Valley.


The following areas are allowed to repopulate. Please note: EVACUATION ORDERS for these areas are lifted, but they remain under EVACUATION WARNING:


  • The communities of Golden Rule mobile home park, Ridgewood Ranch, and Reeves Canyon Road

  • Madrone Lane accessed off of Road I (“eye”)

  • Redwood Avenue including Redwood Valley Rancheria


Potter Valley in the following areas:

  • Eel River Road south of the Stroh Ranch

  • Powerhouse Road

  • Gibson Lane east of Hawn Creek Road

  • Hawn Creek Road

  • Main Street east of Hawn Creek

  • Westside Potter Valley Road

  • Spring Valley Road

  • Potter Valley Road from Highway 20 to Main Street (excluding Shale Lane)

  • Remainder of the Potter Valley community, including everything west of the Lake County line


HARD ROAD CLOSURES will be at the following locations, meaning only Fire, Law Enforcement, and Public Utilities may pass:


  • Eel River Road at Oat Gap

  • Potter Valley Road south of Stroh Ranch

  • Busch Lane at Powerhouse Road

  • Gibson Lane at Hawn Creek Road

  • Shale Lane at Potter Valley Road


In southern Redwood Valley, residents of the following areas area allowed to return home:

  • West Road south of and including Laughlin Way;

  • Laughlin Way south of Bakers Creek;

  • East Road south of Held Road;

  • Road I to Colony Drive (excluding Madrone Lane);

  • East of US-101;

  • North of Highway 20;

  • West of Ricetti Lane at the entrance of Black Bart Trail.


In Lake County, the mandatory evacuation for the Sulphur Fire has been lifted, allowing residents to return. Due to ongoing power restoration efforts by PG&E, access to all areas west of Mendocino Avenue MUST be via North Road.


Residents returning to these areas should exercise extreme caution. Fire, law enforcement, and utility crews continue to work in the area. There are many downed trees and other hazards. These areas will remain under Evacuation Warning, so residents should be prepared to evacuate again on short notice.



The Sonoma County Sheriff's Office on Friday ordered a mandatory evacuation in northern Geyserville north of Highway 128 from Geysers Road to Chalk Hill Road. Geyserville and the KOA campground in Cloverdale already are under mandatory evacuation as the Pocket Fire flares east of Highway 101 in Alexander Valley.



Mendocino County is setting up dumpsters in evacuation areas for disposal of hazardous waste from the wildfires.


Debris and ash from residential and other structural fires may contain toxic substances and must be disposed carefully. It is important not to expose yourself, your family or others to any of these materials by sifting through or moving ash and debris, causing ash to become airborne and inhaled or ingested.


Waste drop off locations will be open Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at:

  • Eagle Peak Middle School – 8601 West Road, Redwood Valley

  • Potter Valley Rodeo Grounds – 10747 Main Street, Potter Valley



The Red Cross emergency shelter at Willits High School will be moving to a new location today (Friday) so that school may resume on Monday. Please stay tuned for details.



A 7pm to 7am curfew will be in effect in areas still without power. Anyone caught roaming within such areas is subject to possible arrest. Anyone seeing suspicious activity should report it to authorities. Drones are prohibited as they may interfere with ongoing aerial fire suppression operations.

The Sheriff’s Office cautions residents to beware of scam phone calls from unknown companies pretending to help you, but really just want your money.



Authorities advise people returning to fire areas to take important health precautions. Protective clothing, closed-toed shoes, eye protection and dust masks are essential because ash and burnt materials contain chemicals that can be hazardous to you and your loved ones.


County officials and California Army National Guard are distributing disposable N95 particulate respirator masks at Eagle Peak School at 8601 West Road in Redwood Valley, and instructing residents in their proper use.



Services are returning to Willits. 9-1-1 service has been restored for landlines and mobile phones. PG&E crews have restored gas to all residents within Willits City limits. If you were not home at the time PG&E arrives they placed a disc on your gas meter with a phone number to call. Telephone service to Howard Memorial Hospital is restored, the main number is 707-459-6801.



The National Weather Service issued a fresh red flag warning for high winds OVERNIGHT TONIGHT (Friday) in eastern Mendocino county and northern Lake county, mainly at high elevations. The warning takes effect from 11 PM Friday night to 9 PM on Saturday night, calling for northeasterly winds of 15 to 20 mph… with gusts to 30 mph. Stay tuned for any changes in the weather forecast.



The Mendocino Sheriff's Office released the names of three Redwood Valley residents who died. They are:


Kai Logan Shepard, age 14, was found near his family residence in the 11300 block of West Road. Investigators believe he was attempting to evacuate on foot when he was overtaken by the fire.

Also, 87-year-old Roy Howard Bowman and his wife, 88-year-old Irma Elsie Bowman. Their remains were found in their burnt residence in the 4000 block of Fisher Lake Drive.

There are 8 confirmed fire-related fatalities in Mendocino county; authorities expect that number to rise.


The Internal Revenue Service announced on Friday that the deadline for filing tax returns is extended to January 31, 2018, for victims of the wildfires. (jkp confirmed with IRS)


Congressman Jared Huffman announced on Friday that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, better known as ICE, has SUSPENDED all non-criminal immigration enforcement operations at wildfire evacuation sites or shelters. All residents in evacuation zones, regardless of immigration status, are urged to follow public safety and evacuation warnings and seek shelter... without any fear of action by ICE.


CalFire Damage assessment teams will be available today (Friday) to go through damage to homes, on a one-by-one basis, with residents of the fire area. No time as yet for that, but we’ll keep you updated. Authorities will allow people back in ONLY when it is safe from fire, AND safe from dangerous gas and electric hazards.


In Lake County, an advisory evacuation was issued Wednesday afternoon for the Lake Pillsbury Basin area. Residents should only use Elk Mountain Road to evacuate. This advisory reflects new fire activity related to the Redwood/Potter Fires in Mendocino County.

In northern Sonoma County, a mandatory evacuation is in effect for the KOA campground in Cloverdale. Geyserville is under mandatory evacuation as the Pocket Fire flares east of Highway 101 in Alexander Valley.

Overall, the Mendocino Lake Complex Fire, (which combines the Redwood Complex in Mendocino County and the Sulphur fire in Lake County), is now at 34,600 acres. The Potter and redwood valley fires is 32,100 acres and 5% contained.The Sulphur fire in Clearlake Oaks is 2,500 acres and 45% contained.




Smoke and haze from the wildfires in northern California and the Redwood Complex Fire are reducing air quality and visibility. Air monitors show particulate matter concentrations mostly in the “moderate” ranges for inland Mendocino County, so that has improved, though smoke is still present over the fires.  

Air quality in the 'Very Unhealthy' range affects everyone. Under such conditions, it is advised to avoid prolonged or heavy activity and time spent outdoors. If possible, stay indoors and avoid exertion.

For Latest Mendocino County air-quality information: Or call 707-463-4354.




PG&E crews will begin entering communities to assess damage and conduct inspections as soon as it is safe to do so and first responders give the okay. PG&E crews will need to gain access to properties and every gas meter must be inspected, which includes temporarily turning gas off.


PG&E urges customers to ask to see valid identification before allowing anyone claiming to be a PG&E representative inside their home.

For concerns or questions call PG&E’s customer service line at 1-800-743-5000 to verify PG&E’s presence in your community.


If you experience Businesses charging higher than normal prices please contact the sheriff department.

With most roads now open, local gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores are receiving new supplies of fuel, food and other supplies.

Tree of Life Charter School's Taste of the World Event will be serving free lunch to evacuees at the Alex Thomas Plaza in Ukiah, Saturday, October 14th from 10-2. There will also be international crafts and activities for children. Donations will be accepted for the Community Foundation and Tree of Life Charter School for children who lost their homes or have had to evacuate.) (contact person: Celeste Beck, Tree of Life Charter School, 462-0913)

Mendocino Transit Authority’s Dial-A-Ride buses will pick passengers up and deliver them to their destinations within Willits and Ukiah, free of charge. They must call MTA dispatchers for this ride service at (707) 462-1422 ext. 2.  This is in addition to regular bus service, all routes free in Willits and Ukiah through Saturday 14 October.  

Bus Service is Available to Those Leaving the Area.

public bus service will take customers from Ukiah to Santa Rosa twice daily through Friday, The bus leaves twice daily from Ukiah’s Pear Tree Shopping Center through Friday at 9:20 a.m. and 12:20 p.m. MTA buses to Santa Rosa can accommodate large suitcases and are outfitted with a rack that holds two bicycles.


Check local routes and times on the MTA website at For information about connections from Santa Rosa, click the Connections button on the top right of the MTA homepage. Or call 707-462-1422 or 1-800-696-4682.



With school suspended, the Noyo Theater at 57 East Commercial in Willits is offering free tickets for showings of “My Little Pony” for children 11 years of age and under. Wednesday (today) and Thursday only at 4:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Tickets for parents are $5. Tel: 707-345-3295

Herbal Medicine making Event, Sunday October 15th 2-5pm at 2400 highway 128 in Anderson Valley. Products will be donated to our firefighters. call 895-3007 for more information.

The Alex Rorabaugh Recreation Center has organized a daily “Fire Respite” all this week through Friday from 10 am to 5 pm for evacuees, volunteers and all members of the community. Come play basketball, pool, ping pong, board games. There will be a small children’s play area, and coffee will be served. The Rorabaugh Center is at 1640 South State Street in Ukiah.




The Clean & Sober Music Fest scheduled for Saturday at the Mendocino County Fairgrounds in Boonville has been cancelled.


The Hopland Passport and Concert this weekend (14th and 15th) have been cancelled.

The Harvest Moon Hometown Celebration in Willits scheduled for the 13th has been cancelled.

Laura Nyro Tribute, scheduled for 10/13 at the Willits Center for the Arts is postponed for a few weeks. The new date and time will be announced as soon as it is finalized.